Today is Thursday, 24th April 2014

300 rise of an empire

300 rise of an empire
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Rating: 6.5/10 (2 votes cast)

Rise of an empire is the sequel to 300, a badass movie set in mythical Greece about a small group of 300 Spartans battling the biggest army in human history. At the end of the movie however, these Spartans all die so I wondered what that meant for this sequel. And after seeing it I can say that this movie is both totally worth seeing and a bit of a disappointment at the same time.

It’s totally worth seeing because it looks great. The environment (mostly CGI I’m guessing), colors, and just general tone of the scenes are just amazing. It’s at least as good as, probably more beautiful than 300. I would argue that one can probably pause the movie at any random time and end up with a still of movie poster quality.
The second strong point of the movie is the action. It’s also 300 quality or higher. Crazy slow-motion and high-speed action in individual fighting scenes are mixed with these wide angle scenes that portray just how huge these armies are that are fighting each other. Toss in a couple of crazy action scenes like a horse jumping from boat to boat and you’re in for some quite entertaining action scenes.

I haven’t mentioned the actual story yet because that’s exactly what makes the movie a bit of a disappointment. Basically they’ve replaced the badass red Spartans with the far less interesting blue Greeks. They’ve replaced the weird bold giant bad guy with his far more normal first commander. Even though she happens to be a chick I still found her half as entertaining as the bold weirdo. And these weaker substitutions don’t end here. There is a weaker father son relations in which one of them dies (spoiler alert), the pep talks are weaker, the tension in the final scene is much weaker, and just my general sense of excitement when I saw the movie was weaker. I was never positively surprised or intrigued by the story.

I conclude with the feeling that they should have switched these movies around. Had they come out with this movie first I would have been blown away by the visuals and the sheer awesomeness of the action. And had they put out 300 as a sequel it would have again been able to surprise by being even more badass with those Spartan fighting machines and simply better story. But they didn’t do it.

So I leave with this: Good movie, exciting movie, far less awesome as 300.

Robocop

Robocop
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Rating: 7.5/10 (2 votes cast)

Reboot, remake, re-imagining, whatever you like to call it, seems the idea pool for movies has run out and Hollywood is remaking old movies and TV series a lot these days. Robocop is another movie to join this group. So first let’s travel back in time to the original Robocop. The year is 1987, such movies as Lethal Weapon, Full Metal Jacket, Wall Street, Fatal Attraction, Spaceballs and Predator are released, I was only 13 years old and then this cool movie with a robot policeman barking monotone, cliché lines like “Dead or alive, you’re coming with me!” or “Stay out of trouble” or “Your Move Creep”, how could I not see this movie? Of course my parents didn’t want me to see such a violent movie, but who listens to their parents at 13?

So to the 2014 version of Robocop. Although I always say that you shouldn’t compare old and new movies, and just enjoy each movie for what it is, I’m going to compare them right now. I was happy that they kept the theme of original movie. Plot and characters have been altered and updated a bit but it’s the same basic thing, an almost fatally wounded, level headed police officer is rebuilt as a cyborg. The original was dark and gritty, but in this latest version they have tired to expand the audience a little so softened up the violence so it can get a PG-13 rating. It didn’t seem to impact the movie all that much though.

Overall I liked the movie, but it did feel a little like a PG video game at times, still it was still a good Sunday night movie.

This Is The End

This Is The End
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Rating: 8.7/10 (3 votes cast)

SMEX International strikes again! This time from Singapore. Since we had one board member and two regulars, I’m going to classify this in-home post-new-year-hungover experience as an official SMEX event.

After gathering our bearings and getting a bit of food, we managed to return to Nav and Fiona’s post-party apartment and decided to watch a movie. We had three more guests with us to make the event complete.

I have to say, starting the new year with this film was fantastic. I had my doubts about it, initially, and I was wrong. After all it is from the same people that made Superbad, one SMEX’ legendary movies. It has it all for a New Year’s day – the end of the world, rapture, demons, celebrities, celebrities making fools of themselves, celebrities dying in amusing ways, Rihanna and Hermionie Granger with an axe. It is well-done and funny and doesn’t require a lot of thought, something that is definitely a big plus when you have an epic hangover and you just want to be a couch potato and relax. It is well worth seeing.

Coming up next – SMEX from Caracas, Venezuela.


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